Best Nano Aquarium – Top 5 Reviews, Comparisons, Guide, FAQs & More

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A great nano aquarium can do wonders for your home but you’ll agree with us when we say that it can be intimidating trying to select one that fulfills all your needs. 

That’s why we’ve tested all the popular nano aquariums available in the market to bring you this extensive list. 

In this post, we’ll discuss what things you should think about while purchasing a nano aquarium and what features make a nano aquarium worth buying.

Top Pick

This aquarium comes with an effective filter and a built-in rail light. You’ll find that the built-in light illuminates the tank brilliantly so you can observe your fish in great detail.

Runner Up

This product’s aluminum-trimmed design gives it a very modern and sleek look. It’s perfectly shaped to hold all kinds of fish and it even comes with a powerful built-in filter as well.

Also Great

If you’re looking for a quirky aquarium for your room, you’ve just found it. It comes with a pedestal base for protection and the LED lamp lights up the fish tank wonderfully as well.

After much deliberation, we’ve concluded these three to be the best nano aquariums out there. 

Now, let’s get into the detailed reviews for the top 5 best nano aquariums.

Best Nano Aquarium - Top 5 Reviews

1. Overall Best Nano Aquarium - MarineLand Contour Glass Aquarium Kit with Rail Light Review

This elegantly designed aquarium is perfect for any room in your home. Its great aesthetic coupled with the effective rail light it comes with make for an optimal viewing experience of your fish.

We were especially impressed by how quiet the filter was. At first, we thought we hadn’t plugged it in properly and that it wasn’t working but indeed, it was doing its job and it was doing it very effectively. You’ll notice the water will remain crystal clear for many days before you have to even think about cleaning the tank. 

Features of MarineLand Contour Glass Aquarium Kit with Rail Light – Best Nano Aquarium

  1. Comes in two sizes: 3 gallons and 5 gallons
  2. Built-in rail light with two lighting modes
  3. Built-in filtration system
  4. Adjustable filter flow pump
  5. Weight: 10.5 pounds
  • Filter works silently
  • Adjustable filter flow accommodates smaller fish very well
  • Easy to set up
  • Sturdy
  • Upright design saves space
  • Filter area is difficult to clean

If you’re looking for a beautifully built aquarium to enhance the ambience of your room, this product is perfect for you. The filter is hidden away in a separate compartment to reduce visual clutter and the light is super bright but not overbearing.

2. Best Nano Aquarium with Powerful Lighting - Fluval Spec III Aquarium Kit Review

We’ve always been quite happy if not straight up impressed by most Fluval products we’ve reviewed and this aquarium kit is no exception.

Not only does it feature a powerful 31 LED lighting system that lights the tank up brilliantly, it also has a filtration system that’s completely concealed in a separate compartment. The filter is designed to help encourage biological filtration and neutralize dangerous toxins that may harm your fish. 

It comes in two different color options: black and white.

Features of Fluval Spec III Aquarium Kit

  1. 2.6 gallons in size
  2. Aluminum-trimmed design
  3. Weight: 10.12 pounds
  4. Dimensions: 8.7 by 10.8 by 11.8 inches
  5. Built-in LEDs and filter
  • Lights are brighter than most of its competitors
  • Easy to set up
  • Easy to clean
  • Lightweight
  • Sturdy design
  • Expensive

If your room has a minimalist aesthetic and you’re looking for an aquarium to match that look, definitely look into this aquarium as it can instantly enhance any space it’s placed in. You’ll find the filter to be super effective and the aquarium itself to be very durable.

3. Best Nano Aquarium with Smallest Footprint - Marina CUBUS Glass Betta Kit Review

This little aquarium is by far the most low-commitment fish tank you could possibly get. Its small size allows you to keep in any little space within your home and you can use it to house a small little aquatic pet. 

We must strongly recommend that you only keep a single fish in this aquarium though as anything more than that might result in overcrowding. We housed a single Betta in this aquarium while testing it and the built-in LED light shone on it to reveal its colors brilliantly.

Features of Marina CUBUS Glass Betta Kit

  1. 0.9 gallons in size
  2. Dimensions: 5.9 inches by 5.9 inches by 5.9 inches
  3. Energy-efficient bright LED
  4. LED has flexible neck for increased control
  5. Weight: 1.68 pounds
  • Small in size
  • Easy to set up
  • Easy to clean
  • Bright LED
  • Lightweight
  • Suitable to keep only one fish 
  • Doesn’t come with a filter

If you don’t have too much space in your home but still want to enjoy the company of an aquatic pet, this product is ideal for you. The LED light is super bright and you’ll find it’s very easy to handle due to its small size.

4. Best Desktop Nano Aquarium - Penn Plax Vertex Desktop Aquarium Kit Review

The Penn Plax Vertex Desktop Aquarium Kit features a sleek, borderless design that enables you to have an unobstructed view of your fish. 

It comes with a hang-on filter that cleans the tank water up very effectively. We barely had to perform any cleaning of the tank while we were testing it as the filter was doing such a great job all by itself. 

The lid is made of plastic. It protects the fish from jumping out and/or from outside pets and it can easily be removed for cleaning and feeding. 

Features of Penn Plax Vertex Desktop Aquarium Kit

  1. 2.7 gallons in size
  2. Dimensions: 9 inches by 8 inches by 10 inches
  3. Comes with a hang-on filter
  4. Weight: 6.8 pounds
  5. Fish net and thermometer included 
  • Easy to set up
  • Easy to clean
  • Filter is quiet and effective
  • Sturdy
  • Comes with a 100% money back guarantee
  • Doesn’t come with a light

If you want an aquarium on your desk that looks beautiful and enhances the look of its surroundings, this is the product for you. It requires little maintenance and comes with a very useful fish net and an accurate thermometer.

5. Best Low Power Consumption Nano Aquarium - Fluval View Aquarium Review

This beautiful little aquarium is especially designed to save you money in the long-run. It comes with an integrated pump, a filter and LED lighting and all of this equipment is designed to utilize electricity in the most efficient way possible. 

The integrated pump works beautifully to keep the tank water well-aerated so your fish have ample oxygen to breathe. The currents it makes inside the aquarium are not strong enough to disturb your fish. 

The LED lighting features 10 white bulbs and 1 blue bulbs and they are made to mimic sunlight and provide a familiar, relaxing environment to your fish.

Features of Fluval View Aquarium

  1. 4 gallons in size
  2. Built-in LED lighting
  3. Low voltage power supply
  4. Comes with an integrated pump and a filter
  5. Dimensions: 17.3 inches by 9 inches by 15.3 inches
  • Lightweight
  • Sturdy
  • Low energy consumption
  • Simple to clean
  • Affordable
  • May have compatibility issues with equipment not made by Fluval
  • Made from plastic which may wither over time

If you want a beautifully designed aquarium that utilizes electricity in the best way possible, this is the product you’re looking for. It comes with much more equipment than most of its competitors and everything you get in this kit is of top-notch quality.

best nano aquarium

Buyers’ Guide

What is a nano aquarium?

A nano aquarium is an aquarium that’s usually known to be of a smaller size as compared to most household aquariums. There’s no definite range that’s defined but usually when you’re talking about nano aquariums, you’re talking about aquariums that are less than 10 gallons in size. 

They have a number of applications and are usually used as a living space for small inhabitants and fish such as Bettas, Guppies, Ghost Shrimp, etc. 

Nano aquariums can be used as both freshwater and saltwater tanks. Normally, it’s more difficult to run and maintain a saltwater nano aquarium than a freshwater nano aquarium. 

What things should I keep in mind when buying a nano aquarium?

There are some things you should think about and decide on before going out to buy a nano aquarium. We’ve done this a million times and we’re bringing you all the things you should think about that will save you from a lot of hassles when you’re out purchasing a nano aquarium: 

  • The Type of Fish You’re Getting

Since a nano aquarium doesn’t usually have a lot of space, you have to think carefully about the type of fish you get. Be sure to decide on the fish you’re getting before you go out to buy the nano aquarium as you need to make sure that your aquarium will be able to accommodate whatever you’ve decided to get. 

  • The Filter’s Operating Capacity

Since a nano aquarium is very small in size, you need to be wary of the filter that comes with it or of the separate filter that you get for your nano aquarium. It’s important that you monitor its operating capacity and make sure that it’s operating at a rate that is suitable for the size of your nano aquarium. 

Often times, filters can be too powerful for small fish tanks and this can lead to many undesirable consequences such as fish being stressed, not being able to swim properly and in extreme cases, fish being sucked into the filter and dying. 

We recommend that you get a filter that is appropriately sized for your nano aquarium. If you’re not sure what size filter would be good for your nano aquarium then we recommend getting one that has an adjustable flow rate. You can bring it home and experiment with different flow rates until you find the one that’s perfect for you and your fish.

  • Fish Tank Location 

Since a nano aquarium is small in size, people often don’t invest in an aquarium stand and decide to keep them on a table, desk or countertop. While this is perfectly okay, we have to stress that you ensure whatever surface you decide to put it on is level and will be able to support the weight of the nano aquarium when it’s filled with water and all the equipment is mounted onto it.

Never keep your nano aquarium on the floor. 

Keep it away from direct sunlight and try to keep it in a room where the temperature doesn’t fluctuate too much. 

What equipment does a nano aquarium need?

Some equipment that’s essential for running a nano aquarium is: 

  • Lighting 

Never skip lighting when setting up a nano aquarium. You need lights for several reasons:

The first and most obvious reason is for aesthetics. You want to be able to present your fish in all their glory. 

Secondly, fish need light in order to grow and thrive. Normally, fish require about 8-12 hours of light a day to lead a healthy life. 

If you have live aquarium plants inside your tank, you’re going to want good lighting as they need it for growth and photosynthesis.

  • Filter

A filter is absolutely necessary and don’t let anyone tell you anything different. Many people think a small aquarium with little fish doesn’t require a filter but this is not true. Your tank will always get dirty even if you have just one small fish and you absolutely need a filter to keep its environment healthy and clean. 

  • Heater (if you have Tropical Fish)

If you have tropical fish that require the water temperature to be maintained at a certain level, you’re going to want to invest in a heater. 

You don’t need to get this if you’re setting up a coldwater fish tank. 

  • Thermometer (for Tropical Fish Tank)

If you’ve set up a tropical fish tank, we recommend hanging a clip-on thermometer in the aquarium for constant monitoring of the temperature. Try to set it up as far away from your heater as possible.

How do I set up a nano aquarium?

A nano aquarium is quite easy to set up as it’s easy to handle. The simple steps that go into setting up a nano aquarium are: 

  • Place it on the surface you’ve decided to keep it on and make sure it’s level. 
  • Add aquarium gravel that you’ve cleaned and rinsed to the bottom of the nano aquarium. 
  • Mount all the equipment onto your nano aquarium. This includes filters, air pumps, heaters, lighting, etc. 
  • Add water that’s been dechlorinated and treated with a water conditioning agent. 
  • Make sure all the equipment is properly plugged in and turn it on. 
  • Let the equipment run for some time in order to complete the nitrogen cycle. This usually takes a few weeks and you can identify when it’s done when the ammonia levels in the tank are 0. 
  • Add your fish.

What are some tips for keeping a nano aquarium?

The main thing you should be wary of while taking care of a nano aquarium is that it’s a small space and since it’s a small space, small problems can quickly escalate into big, catastrophic issues. A small spike in ammonia level could become something that chokes your fish to death if not treated quickly. Thus, we recommend that you monitor water parameters regularly and act quickly whenever you see something out of the ordinary.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I keep my nano aquarium clean?

The best way to keep your nano aquarium clean is to perform small, regular cleanings along with weekly 10-15% water changes. This keeps your nano aquarium’s environment fresh and odorless. 

A good idea is to invest in a gravel vacuum which comes in very handy while cleaning the gunk, debris, leftover food and waste that gets stuck within the crevices of your aquarium substrate. 

Every month or two months or so, we recommend that you perform a deep clean of your nano aquarium. This includes cleaning the filter and performing a 30-40% water change. Make sure your fish have ample water to swim around in while you’re doing these changes and try not to make too big of a splash as this could disturb your fish and cause stress. 

What kinds of fish can I keep in my nano aquarium? 

You may think a nano aquarium’s small size will limit the types of fish you can keep but there’s actually many kinds of fish you can have in your small fish tank. Some of these are: 

  • Betta fish 
  • Dwarf Puffers
  • Celestial Pearl Danios
  • Endler’s Livebearers
  • Bumblebee Gobies
  • Sparkling Gourami
  • Least Killifish
  • Norman’s Lampeye Killifish

And many more.

My fish are having trouble swimming in my nano aquarium. Why is this? 

If you feel that your fish are healthy and this is due to some reason other than disease then it could be because of your filter or an air pump that you may have installed in your aquarium. As we’ve discussed earlier in this post, you have to be careful when getting a filter or an air pump for a nano aquarium as something that works at too high an operating capacity can cause currents that are too strong for fish inside such a small space to handle. In this case, we recommend getting smaller equipment or adjusting the flow of your current equipment if it has that option.

What are some problems I could run into while running a nano aquarium? 

Toxin levels often rise very quickly in a nano aquarium so you’ll have to perform cleaning and water changes a lot more often than you would for a larger tank. 

Fish living in smaller tanks that get overcrowded tend to have their immune systems repressed. This could result in more frequent outbreaks of diseases so you should make sure not to keep too many fish in your aquarium to begin with. 

Make sure you have fish that are appropriately sized for your nano aquarium. Don’t believe people that say your fish grow relative to your tank’s size. That is a myth and having a fish in an aquarium that’s too small for it can lead to many problems such as stunted growth and skeletal deformities.

How will it benefit me to perform small water changes in my nano aquarium regularly?

One obvious benefit of small water changes is that you’ll never come to a point where you have to perform a big and overly complex water change. You may think small water changes are taking up your time but in reality, they save you time. 

Small, frequent water changes don’t need to be large to be effective and a small water change is also easy for your fish as they don’t get too disturbed or stressed by it. 

Final Verdict

A nano aquarium can be a great addition to your home but it’s essential that you get which will give you the best bang for your buck and a comfortable home for your fish. 

In the end, we have to give it to the MarineLand Contour Glass Aquarium Kit. Its beautiful design coupled with its effective equipment makes it the perfect choice for anyone looking for a small fish home. 

And with that, we’ve reached the end of our post for the best nano aquariums. 

Let us know what nano aquarium you’re using to house your little aquatic pets.

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